As a sponsor of FBA, it was inspiring to attend the Hall of Fame dinner last month and hear the incredible stories of businesses like Ennio International and LV Dohnt. I had the pleasure of sitting next to a young man who is very much the next generation of his family business.
Just starting out in his career, it was thrilling to hear this millennial’s response to the stories of Ennio and Dohnt, “Wow. That’s what I want for our business. I want to be a part of making that happen.”
Full of energy and fresh ideas, this young man not only represents the next generation of his family business, but the next generation of their customers and clients. If we, as businesses, are to survive and indeed flourish, we have to embrace digital disruption.
We must let young men like this one learn from our heritage and our experience, but we must also let him bring with him a whole world of new prospects and opportunities.
As John Chapman, Small Business Commissioner discussed in his keynote speech, as businesses we now have unprecedented access to the behaviours of our customers and the way they interact with our businesses. The key is to capture this data and use it wisely.
John Chapman also said that successful businesses today must have an online and social media presence – the shopfront to their business, a place where they can take orders, make sales and create connections with their customers 24/7.
As a marketing professional, I know this already. In fact, most business leaders probably do. But embracing the online age can be a daunting prospect.
As a business leader, you don’t need to be the expert. You can form trusted relationships with organisations that are the experts in this field, who can assess, consult and advise, and manage the whole process for you.
And, you can harvest the wealth of knowledge that my dinner companion and his peers, can bring.
That just leaves you to do what you’ve been doing so well, for so long – running a business.
Account Manager, communikate et al.
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